Practical considerations

When formally proposing and considering a request to work from home, the employee and head of Institution must complete a PD/WFH form, and forward a copy to Human Resources as notification of the outcome.

Set out below is a checklist of actions for managers/employees to help them consider the suitability of working from home, and manage an ongoing arrangement to work from home.

Working environment

The employee must have access to a workspace at home that allows the work duties to be carried out safely and effectively, using all the equipment and resources necessary to carry out the job.

The University is required to take all reasonably practicable precautions to safeguard their employees whilst they are carrying out work for the University from their own home.

Whilst working from home employees must also take reasonable care of their own health and safety, as well as that of others, such as family members, neighbours and visitors.

Note: Employees must undertake a risk assessment of the home working environment, which addresses the health, safety and security precautions set out below. For practical advice on how to do this, see the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) publication: Five steps to risk assessment.

Health, safety and security

Risks can be minimised by taking the following precautions:

  • keep work duties separate from other domestic or family activities
  • ensure that equipment is set up properly and used in accordance with the supplier's instructions
  • avoid overloading electrical sockets and/or having trailing cables/wires
  • arrange for electrical equipment to be tested and maintained as directed by the supplier
  • follow the advice issued by the University on Working Safely with Display screen equipment
  • ensure that the lighting is adequate for the task to be undertaken
  • organise the workstation in a way that avoids any awkward actions (e.g. lifting, reaching, twisting or bending)
  • if the work requires contact with hazardous objects or substances, handle them in accordance with supplier's instructions, and store them securely, away from other family members
  • keep secure any data stored on personal computers by restricting access to work-related files e.g. by password protection
  • be aware of the risks associated with working alone and take appropriate steps to control them
  • manage working time effectively and take appropriate breaks
  • keep in touch with supervisor/manager and discuss any problems that arise
  • report to supervisor/manager periods of sickness and any work-related health issues e.g. pregnancy, accident/injury, disability, work-related stress

Insurance

Employees are responsible for taking out the appropriate level of home insurance for any personal property used at home whilst undertaking work duties.

In the normal course of their work, employees will be covered by the University's Public Liability insurance policy. However, this does not cover any private work or consultancy, for which the individual would need to take out separate, personal indemnity insurance.

Further information